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National Day of Prayer: Words of National Destiny May 3, 2007

Posted by Daniel Downs in American history, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, faith, Freedom of Religion, God, National Compact, news, prayer, religion.

Today, people of many faiths took time to pray for their nation, troops, political leaders, schools, work associates, families, friends, and even their own needs. Prayer ascended to God from all kinds of persons in many different places. God, faith, and prayer have been as much the source of building a free and prosperous nation as any other means. Many today speak against the men and women who created the colonies of biblical theocracy. A part of our constitutional heritage derives from their theocracy. The rule of law derives from it. The critics of public faith, a faith in a world designing deity and those moral laws inherent in the human design, are also those who deny the theocratic nature of our National Compact. Why? Because they are either ignorant of or have rejected that Compact. Instead, they propagate a design of another making.

Nevertheless, the National Day of Prayer is one small part of our national, public religion. It is day to remember and to exercise our collective faith for our collective benefit. America’s President presiding over this Day of Prayer is another part of our political heritage and public faith. Therefore, I have reproduced our President’s prayerful words which he spoke on our behalf earlier today.

The President’s Commemoration:

As Shirley (Dobson) mentioned, since the days of our founding, our nation has been called to prayer. That’s exactly what our first President did, George Washington. “It’s the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and to humbly implore his protection and favor.” It’s interesting that the first President said those words.

For two centuries, Americans have answered this call to prayer. We’re a prayerful nation. I believe that makes us a strong nation. Each day, millions of our citizens approach our Maker. We pray as congregations in churches and in synagogues, and mosques, and in temples. We welcome people of all faiths into the United States of America.

We pray as families, around the dinner table, and before we go to sleep. We pray alone in silence and solitude, withdrawing from the world to focus on the eternal, spending time in personal recollection with our Creator.

We pray for many reasons. First, we pray to give thanks for the blessings the Almighty has bestowed upon us. We pray to give thanks. We give thanks for our freedom. We give thanks for the brave men and women who risk their lives to defend it. We give thanks for our families who love and support us. We give thanks for our plenty. We give thanks for our nation.

Second, we pray for the strength to follow God’s will in our lives, and for forgiveness when we fail to do so. Through prayer, each of us is reminded that we are fallen creatures in need of mercy, and in seeking the mercy and compassion of a loving God, we grow in mercy and compassion ourselves.

We feel the tug at our souls to reach out to the poor, the elderly, the stranger in distress. And by answering this call to care for our brothers and sisters in need, our hearts grow larger and we enter into a deeper relationship with God.

Third, we pray to acknowledge God’s sovereignty in our lives and our complete dependence on Him. This is probably the toughest prayer of all, particularly for those of us in politics. In the humility of prayer we recognize the limits of human strength and human wisdom. We seek the strength and wisdom that comes from above. We ask for the grace to align our hearts with His, echoing the words of Scripture, “Not my will, but thine be done.” We ask the Almighty to remain near to us and guide us in all we do, and when He is near we are ready for all that may come to us.

Finally, we pray to offer petitions, because our Father in heaven knows our cares and our needs. We trust in the promise of a loving God: Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and ye shall find. Inspired by this confidence we pray that the Almighty will pour out His blessings on those we love. We ask His healing for those who suffer from illness, for those who struggle in life. We ask His comfort for the victims of tragedy, and that the injured may be healed and the fallen may find comfort in the arms of their Creator. We implore His protection for those who protect us here at home and in far away lands. We pray for the day when His peace will reign in every nation and in every land until the ends of the earth.

The greatest gift we can offer anyone is the gift of our prayers, because our prayers have power beyond our imagining. The English poet Tennyson wrote, “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” Prayer has the power to change lives and to change the course of history. So on this National Day of Prayer, let us seek the Almighty with confidence and trust, because our Eternal Father inclines his ear to the voice of his children, and answers our needs with love.

May God bless America.

(Also read the President’s opening remarks at the 52nd Annual National Prayer Breakfast.)

In addition to the President and other dignitaries, one of America’s leading religious leaders is chosen each year to pray for our nation. This year Pastor Charles Swindoll was chosen to intercede on our behalf. Read his prayer below.

2007 Prayer for the Nation
by Charles SwindollAlmighty God, we pause to reflect on Your character as we seek wisdom for such a time as this. In these unsafe days, You remain all-powerful and able to protect; in these uncertain times, You remain all-knowing, leading us aright; in the unprecedented events we’re facing, You remain absolutely sovereign. Our times are in Your hands.

Therefore, our dependence on You, is total, not partial. Our need for Your forgiveness is constant, our gratitude for Your grace is profound, our love for You is deep.

We ask that You guard and guide our President and all who serve the people of these United States. May uncompromising integrity mark their lives. We also ask that You unite us as truly “one nation, under God.” May genuine humility return to our ranks. And may that blend of integrity and humility heal our land. In our Lord’s name we pray, Amen.

Remember those words. God heard Pastor Swindoll’s prayer. Just like when the God answered the prayers of our nation’s patriarchs, so too will God answer this prayer of Pastor Swindoll. Remember his words because the God that the founding Congress covenanted with will seek to fulfill them.

If interested in more information about the National Day of Prayer, visit Presidential Prayer Team and National Day of Prayer.

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